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The Sharks Break Down the AL East

Boston Red Sox

Mark’s Take

Scott’s Take

Lineup

1. Dustin Pedroia

2. Carl Crawford – If he were right handed, him and Pedroia would flip spots

3. Kevin Youkilis

4. Adrian Gonzalez

5. J.D. Drew

6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia – If, and this is a huge if, he hits he’ll move up to break up the army of lefties

7. David Ortiz – The addition of Gonzalez gives the Red Sox a reason to slide “Big Papi” down in the order

8. Marco Scutaro

9. Jacoby Ellsbury – His left handed bat gives the Red Sox even more incentive to put him at the bottom of the order, away from Crawford and Gonzalez, in the event that he doesn’t hit better than .300

Lineup

1. Dustin Pedroia

2. Carl Crawford – lots of ways to move this lineup around

3. Kevin Youkilis

4. Adrian Gonzalez

5. David Ortiz

6. J.D. Drew

7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia – presents a ton of value for deeper leagues

8. Marco Scutaro

9. Jacoby Ellsbury – he’ll likely be here all year

Rotation

1. Jon Lester

2. Josh Beckett

3. Clay Buchholz

4. John Lackey

5. Tim Wakefield

Rotation

1. Jon Lester

2. Josh Beckett

3. Clay Buchholz

4. John Lackey

5. Daisuke Matsuzaka

Bullpen

Closer – Jonathan Papelbon

R – Daniel Bard

R – Dan Wheeler

R – Bobby Jenks

L – Hideki Okajima

R – Daisuke Matsuzaka

R -Scott Atchison

The one guy down on the farm I’ll be keeping a close eye on is Andrew Miller. I have a soft spot for reclamation projects and this pitching staff is in dire need of some left-handed help. Matsuzaka is going to start off in the rotation, but within the first two months he will be bumped to the bullpen where he is better suited. If one of the farmhands isn’t ready, Wakefield is a capable fifth starter. Ortiz had a blip in his steady decline last year, but looking behind the numbers he is due for a correction and a tumble down the batting order. Ryan Kalish is the other interesting player to highlight. He is without a home right now but given the reliability of the Red Sox outfielders staying on the field an opportunity will open up sooner rather than later.

Bullpen

Closer – Jonathan Papelbon

R – Daniel Bard

R – Dan Wheeler

R – Bobby Jenks

R – Hideki Okajima

R – Tim Wakefield

R – Scott Atchison

There are a few other names here that will be competing, such Felix Doubront, Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller and Rich Hill. Taking a gamble here on one guy – Hill. Hill is very intriguing to me now. I’ve always liked him, but he’s struggled recently. This year, he’s changed to a sidearm delivery, which may allow for him to land a nice relief role. Aceves has some nice upside here, and has inked a MLB deal with the Red Sox. He could easily take the place of others on this list. 

Most overrated player

Ellsbury. Between the new additions and his poor on-base pecentage he is staring “second lead off” right in the face. In other words, the nine hole.

Most underrated player

Kalish. With an every day role he is a Top 20 outfielder .

5 Questions

1. Will the new acquisitions live up to their lofty expectations?

Yes, even Saltalamacchia.

2. Can Ortiz avoid falling off the cliff?

No, the Red Sox would be best if he ended the season as a pinch hitter.

3. Can Lester carry the pitching staff?

He can, but I’m sure he doesn’t want to.

4. Will Papelbon finish the season on the Red Sox?

Probably, but if they deal him to patch another hole they have the horses in the stable to recover.

5. Can the Red Sox avoid being beaten by the injury bug?

They deserve some good karma after last year.

What this team needs to win

Health and someone(s) in the rotation behind Lester to step up.

Most overrated player

Ellsbury. Listen, I’m a Red Sox fan, and I love Ellsbury. But he’s just too expensive in a fantasy draft when you can get Rajai Davis 15-plus rounds later, and he’ll likely have similar production. Plus, getting a guy who’s going to hit ninth? No thanks.

Most underrated player

Youkilis. How can a guy going in the third round be underrated? He’s one of many that’s likely headed for a career season hitting third in this lineup – and with the mess that third base is this yea, he presents immense value once the position eligibility comes into play.

5 Questions

1. Can they stay healthy?

Well, no team was hit harder with injuries last season than them. It can only get better, right?

2. What to do with Wakefield?

The guy is ageless, and wants to play after this season. They just really don’t have a spot for him to begin the year. He’ll likely start in the bullpen, but back in the rotation after Matsuzaka’s third four-inning, 150-pitch session.

3. Will Papelbon be the closer by the end of the season?

Likely. But this will be the last time you’ll see him there. It’s been quite some time since he’s been dominant, and they have too much talent at the back end to ignore.

4. Can Lackey perform like he did in September of last year?

Lackey presents some nice value throughout, take away two poor months, and his numbers were right on par with his career averages. He’ll be a nice, cheap innings eater and win 15-17 games.

5. Can “Big Papi” put together a decent 2011?

Well, he’d better start to learn to hit lefties. At this stage of his career, it’s not happening. Look for him to be either: A. off the cliff or B. at the cliff by the end of the season, depending on where you see him right now.

What this team needs to win

Health. Health. Health. This team is loaded through the lineup, in the rotation and in the bullpen. Could be an exciting year in Boston.

About Fantasy Sharks

FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.